Yale School of Management

Uma Krishnan ’19

MBA

Before SOM, I worked in hedge fund tax compliance before transitioning to a private equity firm. It was interesting, but I found that the volunteering I was doing in my spare time was a lot more interesting. I was mentoring in underserved communities in the New York City public school system, and teaching financial literacy at middle and high schools in the tri-state area. It was exciting, making a positive impact in education. I discovered it’s where my passion lies, but I realized that I didn’t have the skills to jump straight into education.

I considered doing just an education degree at first, but in my volunteer work, it was very apparent that a business toolkit is very useful in addressing a variety of problems. I was drawn to SOM because I love the emphasis on social impact and the mission of educating leaders for business and society. There’s an understanding that even if you’re a vice president at Goldman Sachs, you’re aware that the things you do affect society. I knew this was a community of people that I wanted to be around.

I’m the student government admissions chair and an admissions interviewer, so I meet a lot of prospective students. I always tell them that the integrated core is really useful for looking at business through a consulting lens. Any problem—you’re not just looking at it from a siloed approach. You have to consider the larger economic background, the accounting perspective. You have to consider it from a competitive response perspective. Doing that on a day-to-day basis in class really enabled me to do well during the recruiting process and then ultimately when I got my internship at Bain Consulting.

Over the summer, we were worked on what Bain likes to call “a core strategy case,” which is really about defining a company’s strategic goals and current resources, and then identifying which levers to pull, for example, cost-cutting, trying to revolutionize the operating model, network optimization, or change management. We determined that the client needed to pull all of these levers, and the core teaches you how to do just that. It was critical preparation for me.

Straight after business school, I’m going into management consulting with Bain & Company in Texas. My plan is to hone my management skillset, and then start to dip my toe into the education sector. Consulting gives me a good toolkit for big-picture strategy work.  Bain does a ton of work with the charter school system in Houston, and there are a lot of great organizations down there. It’s empowering work, especially for immigrant populations and underrepresented minorities, so I’m really pumped to get involved. I’ve already connected with people who know I’m interested in education, and they’ve suggested some ways I can get started. This is all I could have hoped for: being able to find a group of people, not only at school but post-MBA, who really identify with what I’m passionate about.

Interviewed on October 4, 2019

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